Having built a three-fight winning streak that includes victories over former 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley, Randy Brown, and Niko Price, Luque will look to jump into title contention with an impressive showing against the #5-ranked welterweight.
Despite Chiesa boasting 11 submission victories in his career, including a kimura against Carlos Condit and a standing rear-naked choke against lightweight contender Beneil Dariush, and one of the best wrestling skillsets in the UFC, Luque expects to be competitive wherever the fight ends up.
While speaking with Sportskeeda MMA’s John Hyon Ko, “The Silent Assassin” compared his upcoming fight with the UFC 264 co-main event between Stephen Thompson and his close friend and Sanford MMA teammate Gilbert Burns. Luque will be hoping to secure a similar result to “Durinho” when he enters the cage with Chiesa on August 7.
“I think it’s that matchup just like Gilbert and Wonderboy. Striker versus grappler. I think that’s gonna be me and Chiesa. Everybody knows I’m gonna strike with him. Everybody knows that he’s gonna try and get me to the ground and submit me. That makes it even more interesting. It’s kind of the old school MMA, where we know what guys are gonna do…let’s see who’s better at their game and imposing their will.”
Luque added that Burns’ presence in his camps has had a huge impact on his ground skills, something which he thinks will heavily benefit him against “Maverick.”
“And on the ground game… I have been training jiu-jitsu since I was 16 years old. I’ve been training Luta Livre since, I believe, I was 20 years old. So, I have a lot of experience on the ground game, on the grappling. After I started having a great friendship with Gilbert Burns, that just improved (Luque’s grappling), and he has given me a lot of knowledge in this area.”
With that said, Luque believes that if he’s forced to grapple Chiesa, something he feels is an inevitability, he has his own threat on the ground that the 33-year-old has to be wary of.
“If we end up on the floor, and I think that might happen at some point, he’s a great wrestler, he takes people down most of his fights, so, that can happen. I also have tools…it’s not just gonna be like, ‘okay now it’s done for me’. No, no way. I can even try to submit him or look for something…I think it’s the kind of fight where it’s gonna be tricky for him anywhere. Be it standing or on the ground. I’m gonna do what I do and look for a finish.”
Alongside the battle of welterweight contenders, a number of exciting matchups will go down on what is a stacked pay-per-view card. In the main event, France’s Ciryl Gane will look to book a place opposite his former teammate Francis Ngannou when he faces Derrick Lewis for the interim heavyweight belt in the UFC 265 main event.
Despite the cancelation of Amanda Nunes‘ bantamweight championship defense against Julianna Peña, the likes of Pedro Munhoz, José Aldo, Rafael Fiziev, Angela Hill, and Song Yadong look set to make the PPV another thrilling watch.
Who do you think leaves Houston with another win on their record? Vicente Luque or Michael Chiesa?